Monday, I woke up after having gotten pretty much a full 8 hours of sleep.
The debacle of Sunday was over. The day I had watched football at the casino, instead of with Howard, at his home across the river; and still felt a bit remiss.
Sometime around sunup I had broken my sleep to get up and shut the sports talk radio off, as the guys had started to repeating themselves as they dissected Sunday's games.
I wasn't worried about running the AAA batteries down in the cheap radio, because the 54 dollars that I wound up with after busking Friday and Saturday was having me thinking about the CD player slash AM/FM radio that I had seen at the Goodwill store for about $14.
It might have a better antenna than the cheap radio, being larger, allowing me to broaden my horizons by tuning in stations that are new to me from far away lands, and would most likely not generate the annoying low hum coming from the speakers that the cheap radio does (an electrical grounding issue, probably). I would instantly start saving money on AAA batteries, which I could credit against the 14 that I would be investing.
And, maybe even more importantly. I can enter the world of the 2 dollar music CD shelf at the Goodwill, a quick glance over which having already revealed to me a John Mayer CD, entitled "Heavier Things," one of the Talking Heads albums, and a Counting Crows work.
I'm not sure if I like John Mayer's stuff, I guess I will just have to see for myself if I do....
I might even be able to find a way to burn music onto blank discs using these computers at Sacred Heart, or at the library, or at Tipitina's (which I will I get to later).
It was a beautiful afternoon for a bike ride. My first stop was to put 25 dollars on the green American Express card. The minimum amount that I can load onto the card is 20 dollars, so I have wound up putting just about all the cash on me onto the card as a first transaction, and then spending that same money back off the card with purchases, leaving the balance at below 20 dollars.
So, after cat food and some fruit for myself out of the Ideal Market and a pack of all natural American Spirit cigarettes, I pedaled up to the Goodwill; giving myself an internal pep talk, telling myself about all the money I would save on batteries and how I just might find Elvis Costello music in the 2 dollar CD rack and be able to memorize a few songs off them, and then go on to make enough money outside the theater (in 4 days) to pay for the new CD player slash radio several times over. I was trying to make sure I didn't change my mind.
Another Aspect of Sobriety
It is another aspect of sobriety, I have just realized as I start on my 9th month of sobriety, that I don't have to talk myself, as vehemently, out of buying things that I have the money for and which I would enjoy having, out of fear that I will regret it. Drinking money will run out in the near future, and I will regret it.
Having a whole list of things, from a good variety of foods in copious amounts, a movie to watch, a CD to listen to, bath salts to soak in, coffee and a newspaper, a new harmonica and new strings to play, plenty of good reading, a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle, extra food for the cat, clean litter in its box, and all kinds of toiletries to include sharp "triple-blade" razors, art supplies and even invisible tape for sticking stuff up on the walls, and having tobacco and yet having just a small amount of cash is not as scary a scenario, 9 months sober.
I left Goodwill with an even better CD player slash radio than the one that I had seen a few days prior, but which was no longer there.
Stuff disappears quickly out of that particular Goodwill, but this time something had disappeared only to be replaced by a better version of itself at the same price. It is, I believe, a Fischer brand and would have been the cat's meow in 1985, with detachable stereo speakers, that I could circumvent by using my amplified ones with the sub woofer.
I got back to the apartment with a Rock Star Energy drink, a can of coconut milk, instant coffee, two 8 ounce jars of molasses that had been only a dollar each, and the CD player slash radio, wrapped mummy-like in packing tape; so tight that I hadn't been able to discern if the thing had an external FM "whip" antenna attached.
After cutting away the tape, I discovered something even better than the whip antenna, essentially a screw labeled "FM antenna." I believe I can attach to the screw a dedicated "external FM antenna" and get "no static at all" when listening to NPR radio on 89.9 FM.
This is an advancement in "education" for me.
I could have given the 15 bucks to Ed and Rose on the TV that I owe 20 dollars on, but the fortuitousness of coming across those items, and how they appeared in such synchronicity with other things and in an almost deducible order, made me want to snatch them up.
Today, I was at the same Dollar Tree, on my way to get the new eyeglasses that the Daughters of Charity Hospital optometry nurse had told me were ready.
I had already stopped and straightened out the food stamp situation by reporting that I was actually working "at least 30 hours a week," and so, I didn't need assistance in finding work through their program, etc. I would not have to sit and learn how to write a resume when I could be busking.
And since the "LA Works" place is in the same building as the Goodwill, I went in there and bought "Stars and Stripes (vol 1)" by The Beach Boys in collaboration with other artists. I am looking forward to hearing it and hoping that it will give me suggestions about how I could cover Beach Boys songs myself; although the Wikipedia page for the album called it a "failure," and said that the critics hated it.
I also grabbed a VHS (double tape) copy of the movie: "Schindler's List," the back cover of which saying it was "great" and that the critics loved it.
I heard a somewhat familiar sounding voice, fumbling for my name and turned to see none other than Jim, the artist.
Jim is an artist in the French Quarter and is a person whom I ran into once when I was about 7 days sober, on a stretch that would endure 28 days.* And, I would run into him repeatedly and almost always in some way connected to sobriety. Like, someone would offer me a drink and I would refuse and then go around the corner and almost bump into him, types of occasions.
*that was the time that, on the 28th day, I found a full bottle of Chivas Regal scotch sitting in a box with some other trash with which it comprised evidence of a party. A party where booze was provided, some of the finest, but at which it was learned that nobody, or very few people drank.
If I were to find the same bottle now, I would shove it in my backpack and give it to someone.
Jim asked me how I was doing, and was everything good?
Everything was good; and since that was the fruit of my having made the decision to stop drinking, I told Jim about my 250 days or so sober. He congratulated me and then told me that he had to run, because he was recording something at Tipitina's.
Tipitina's is a place that I had tried to find on at least a few occasions.
It turned out to be right across the street, in what used to be a motel, and so it looked like a motel.
Jim said that he has recorded several CDs there, and that there is a 15 dollar fee for a month of being a member of the club, but that you only have to pay for months that you are actually planning upon using the place during.
He said other things about the place which answered all of the questions that I would have had, had I ridden over there to see the place and to meet this and that person, etc.
I am home, hoping to brush up on some material, write additional verses for a song or two; and then basically record a CD at Tipitina's.
I rode past the place and it reminded me of a YMCA where, instead of a swimming pool and a basketball court there are music studios. It is some kind of organization that is funded by some entity and is basically there to help local musicians record CDs in order to advance their careers.
It just looked like a motel; albeit one with huge murals of music legends on the sides of it.
The sun was hot on me when I lugged my bike outside into the parking lot, but there was a cool draft seeming to be coming from somewhere; like being near an air conditioned building that has its doors wide open. "Could these be the drafts of October, I am feeling; harbingers of Old Man Winter?" I thought before riding off.
I Used To Live Here
Coming Soon!! Another installment of "I Used To Live Here," about the cave that I chiselled out of part of the rock shown below.
It was my memory of the petroglyphs on the rock above it that gave me the idea of trying to find the cave through Google images...
Learn how I discovered that I was on sacred ground....
DIRECTIONS: Begin the on Holbert Trail and hike roughly 0.1 mile to a point where the trail drops into a sandy wash where there are fire rings and seating. This is Box Canyon. The canyon runs east-west.